Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

Kleenex, chicken soup, warm blanket, screaming baby

Lucky had pilfered a Riesen candy off of my nightstand—can you describe something made of plastic as a night stand?—and was walking around sucking on it, still in the wrapper and all.

When I saw, I took it away from her, opened it, cut a little piece off and gave the tiny piece to her as an appeasement for taking away the whole candy.

What came was the tantrum of all tantrums, crying, mouth open wide, boogers pouring out of her nose, chocolate from the little bit of candy, which she paused to nibble in between breaths, all over her face and hair and hands and legs, which were bare because I had changed her diaper and she was too wild to put back on her overalls.

She followed me to the bathroom where I dispose of poopie diapers—we have a Diaper Genie—and when I shut off the light and closed the door, I heard a little crunch. Her fingers got crushed in the door jam.

That’s when she stopped crying, just when she had a real reason to cry. No, stopped isn’t the right word. She calmed to a whimper and I held her, walking circles the length of the house like I used to the nights when she was a few months old and inconsolable.

She paused sometimes to rub my hair and kiss me back, my little mimic. (She also picks her nose almost obsessively, which brings me great shame. My little mimic.)

I should be the one getting consoled because my nose is raw and I feel something pooling in my ears.

I mustered the energy to meet the boiler guy this morning at the rental property but I canceled the rest of my day.

The boiler cleaning went well. My tenant played a Miles Davis album and told me about his trip to Maui. The boiler man, Mark, said the boiler is old but chugging along nicely. The bill was $280, which is good. In past years, I’ve been handed a bill of $500 or more.

Adult relations on Murphy Dome have been tense, owing I think to the darkness and cold, and the result has been less blogging on my part because it’s made me sad and because I couldn’t bear to admit it because I want my relationship to be known as a good one because I gave up a lot to come up here and make this family and if it’s not going well than maybe that means I made a huge mistake, proving I am incapable of good judgment.

But now I just feel like relationships have their ups and downs and the thing to do is to ride it out or take steps to make things better.

The good thing is that most of the tension is over stupid stuff, such as what kind of chicken food to buy or unfounded accusations of sabotaged coffee.

With me and Alec, it’s usually silly things that get between us. Or at least the things seem sort of silly when the dust settles.

He took me out for Mexican food last night and I almost said, “Let’s call a truce,” but the dinner went so well that I felt like a truce had happened by itself.

Today, I brought him lunch after the boiler appointment and he’s just been in the shower, cleaning the chocolate out of Jade’s hair, a favor to me because the responsibility for cleaning the baby is usually mine. (Although it got on my nerves earlier when he asked me if I had anything going for dinner because judging from the kitchen, I thought the answer was pretty obvious: No.)

I’ll end this post by reporting that we are having a party on Saturday and it should be interesting because I am not feeling the best and a lot of people are invited and won’t they expect food and a clean house and a cheerful hostess? Not to mention the temperature is supposed to be a frigid 30 below. Who will want to stand out by a bonfire when it’s that cold? Not me.

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3 comments on “Kleenex, chicken soup, warm blanket, screaming baby

  1. Titanium
    November 20, 2009

    No one in their right mind expects the mom of a toddler to be a cheerful hostess. In fact, a good friend would show up and offer to babysit while cleaning your house and making you soup so you can SLEEP.

    Just sayin…

    Winters in the interior AK are tough. I’ve had a bunch of ’em and it’s like a nine month flu. Hang in there.

  2. Bottle Washing Fairy
    November 20, 2009

    I LOVE! your honest and forthrightness and ability to face a situation, step in and solve it. I was wondering what was going on. Sure hope you are feeling better by party time. Wish I could be there to help out. Much love, tbwf

  3. Sarah
    November 20, 2009

    I commend you for not canceling the party. Most people would just postpone it if they were having a bad week.

    I won’t go into details, but we’ve had a rough week too. I think it is the lack of light and the fact that we are all confined indoors at work or home or Fred Meyer–what fun (not). I spoke with another friend who is already concerned about O.D.ing on her sad lamp. In about one short month though, the light will come back quickly, and I’m sure we’ll all start to realize what “normal” is supposed to feel like.

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This entry was posted on November 19, 2009 by .
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